South of Heaven review

REASON: An ex-wife (Jason Sudeikis) on probation is determined to make the most of the time his terminally ill girlfriend (Evangeline Lilly) has left, but fate has other plans.

REVIEW: A couple of years ago I saw a great movie called Big bad wolves, which was directed by Aharon Keshales & Navot Papushado. Quentin Tarantino actually called it his favorite film from 2013. After a few years of working on other projects, both Keshales and Papushado came out with films this year, the latter directing the terrific Spicy Milkshake to Netflix. For his part, Keshales made this deeply personal neo-noir, South of the sky Papushado has a written and producing credit) which is coming out this weekend and is without a doubt a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.

Anyone who has seen Jason Sudeikis comes to his right Ted Lasso will get a big kick out of seeing him in a different state here. He is very effective as an ex-con named Jimmy Ray. Released on probation, he has only one mission in life. His beloved fiancé, Evangeline Lilly’s Annie, is dying of lung cancer and he wants to make the most of the time she has left. Too bad his probation officer, Shea Whighams Schmidt, is a piece of shit that blackmails him back into a criminal life. Circumstances do not favor Jimmy, as he eventually ends up with $ 500,000 in debt to a local mobster, Mike Colter’s Whit Price, who kidnaps Annie to entice him to do good. Jimmy, in turn, kidnaps Wit’s son (Thaddeus J. Mixon) in hopes of making an exchange.

south of the sky Jason sudeikis Evangeline Lilly

South of the sky is a delicious mix of genres. It certainly qualifies as a noir, though Lilly’s Annie is as far from a femme fatale as you can get. To some extent, Jimmy seems damned by fate, but also lucky that Annie is completely devoted to him. This is returned, and any decision he makes during the course of the film is made regardless of his ultimate fate. He just wants more time with Annie, who still only has a year left. Other than that, he does not care.

That aspect makes this a tragic romance in many ways with an open to interpretation that will no doubt leave a lump in the throat. But it’s also a rolling thriller with some welcome doses of carnage. Gore, when it hits, is almost comically brutal, and the gun-flaming finale will leave Ted Lasso fans hoping that one day Sudeikis can go the Bob Odenkirk route and try action. IN South of the sky he picks up an average body count, though some have called this shootout John Wick-esk, that’s far from accurate. Jimmy is a desperate man, and the violence he inflicts is far from polished. This movie looks more like it ONE The history of violence or Blood Simple than it is for John Wick.

south of heaven review, Jason sudeikis

Keshales has noted the Don Siegel films (Dirty Harry) as an influence, and it is felt here. He quoted Charley Varrick (buy it here) as an influence, which seems appropriate as the film threw Walter Matthau against the type as a cold-blooded anti-hero. With someone like Eastwood, Charley Varrick would have been fine, but Matthau made it a classic. IN South of the sky, Keshales could have cast an action hero, but there is no way it would have had the impact it does without Sudeikis. Of course, it helps that he plays romance and drama just as well, and his chemistry with Lilly, who has rarely had such a meaty role, is perfect.

The support staff is generally strong with Mike Colter (Luke Cage), an unusually sympathetic villain who ties ties to Lilly over their shared history of cancer. However, he is also brutal, as shown in a gut-wrenching, brutal scene in which he interrogates Jimmy’s best friend, “Honest” Frank (Jeremy Bobb), with a nail gun. The great Michael Pare plays his main henchman (I always get a kick out of seeing him – he was as good in his cameo as Barry Seal in The infiltrator). At the same time, Shea Whigham is oily and contemptible as Jimmy’s outrageous parole officer.

Hopefully some of Sudeikis Ted Lasso fans should give Sout of heaven an attempt as it is one of the pearls under the radar (such a thing Shot calls), which encourages me to keep covering the indie scene. A film like this deserves to find an audience as everyone involved did their best to make a great little film and more than delivered. Considering that Ted Lasso season finale just aired, you can make this part of a wild Sudeiki’s double count. Many years ago (during his crazy comedy phase) I was not sold on him, but I think he excels in drama, with a genuine sense of empathy and pathos that comes through in all his recent performances. Do not miss this one, folks.


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